Anybody who has a Blogger blog (or six or eight Blogger blogs) has noticed the "Try the updated Blogger interface" button at the top of the dashboard for the past couple months.
They now tell us that, like it or not, we will be upgraded in April.
I myself have not upgraded because all reports have said that the feature I use most extensively -- the html editing tab -- was disabled. The other reason I hate to do this is that I hate to test things on a current blog, and Google has a way of insisting on changing your whole account on you.
But now, since it's clear we're being forced to move to a new interface, I went and revived an old account, and created a blog specifically for testing when Blogger tries something whacky.
It's called, oddly enough Testing New Blogger Stuff, and it literally is just a test bed. It might be of interest to those who have a Blogger blog who are wondering about the same sorts of things I am.
On my first test....
The new interface is mostly just different. So far, I have been able to accomplish what I did before, but some things are harder and some easier, and some just a little freaky because I get unexpected results.
New Picture Handler
One thing I like is that when you upload a picture, you merely upload the picture. You aren't required to choose whether it's in the center or on the left or right. You aren't required to name the size. After you get it in place, if you click on the picture, you get a little menubar at the top or bottom which allows you do do all the settings for the picture -- and better yet, you get to CHANGE all the settings for the picture, on the fly, after the fact.
Furthermore, it finally has an option to post the picture at original size. It used to be that if you wanted to put a picture up which was more than 400 pixels in any dimension, it would shrink it down. You had to hack into the code to make it fit.
Now, you can just choose "original size" no muss, no fuss. Also, you can type in an edit a caption on the fly.
YouTube Video Embedding
So far that seems to work, however, YouTube's code does not match the new Blogger way of doing things, so if you click back and forth from compose to html view, it will change the code. Actually, the first time I pasted it in, I pasted it in as part of a larger post, with additional text. I appeared to paste properly, but when I clicked to compose, then back to html, the embeded video disappeared. I was able to paste just that code back in and it was happy.
Paragraphs and Breaking Spaces
If you copy plain text from a word processor into the html view, everything will run together into a single paragraph in compose view. This is probably not something most people will notice, but it annoys me, because I liked the way the previous blogger worked with code: I didn't have to type in paragraph breaks, but I could type in italics tags -- which made it easier to compose my posts.
I'll be experimenting over there with other options, and won't be posting again here about this, except perhaps if I discover something really important. (Then I'll probably post it there, and just let folks here know about that post.
See you in the funny papers.